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Last night we had dinner at a nice Italian restaurant in Killington with friends of ours from NJ who are up on vacation. When I was using the ladies’ room (which I use practically everywhere I go – I don’t think that there is an establishment where I have not frequented the bathroom) there was a poster on the wall. Life’s Little Instructions. Doing a bit of research I discovered it was authored by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. He originally wrote the book for his son who was going off to college. I guess a bit of fatherly advice in a bottle. He is quoted as saying: “I read years ago that it was not the responsibility of parents to pave the road for their children but to provide a road map, and I wanted to provide him with what I had learned about living a happy and rewarding life.” Since I thought it was pretty neat, I thought I would share some of his advice here.
Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
Watch a sunrise at least once a year.
Leave the toilet seat in the down position.
Never refuse homemade brownies.
Strive for excellence, not perfection.
Plant a tree on your birthday.
Learn 3 clean jokes.
Return borrowed vehicles with the gas tank full.
Compliment 3 people every day.
Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
Leave everything a little better than you found it.
Keep it simple.
Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.
Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
Floss your teeth.
Ask for a raise when you think you’ve earned it.
Overtip breakfast waitresses.
Be forgiving of yourself and others.
Say, “Thank you” a lot.
Say, “Please” a lot.
Avoid negative people.
Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards.
Wear polished shoes.
Remember other people’s birthdays.
Commit yourself to constant improvement.
Carry jumper cables in your truck.
Have a firm handshake.
Send lots of Valentine cards.
Sign them, “Someone who thinks you’re terrific.”
Look people in the eye.
Be the first to say hello.
Use the good silver.
Return all things you borrow.
Make new friends, but cherish the old ones.
Keep a few secrets.
Sing in a choir.
Plant flowers every spring.
Have a dog or cat.
Always accept an outstretched hand.
Stop blaming others.
Take responsibility for every area of your life.
Wave at kids on school busses.
Be there when people need you.
Feed a stranger’s expired parking meter.
Don’t expect life to be fair.
Never underestimate the power of love.
Drink champagne for no reason at all.
Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation.
Don’t be afraid to say, “I made a mistake.”
Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.”
Compliment even small improvements.
Keep your promises no matter what.
Marry for love.
Rekindle old friendships.
Count your blessings.
Call your mother.
Pretty good advice, don’t you think?